Led by principal investigator Jia-Ray Yu, Ph.D., the Yu Laboratory studies the regulations of gene expression at the chromatin level. As chromatin is a highly compartmentalized structure, the temporo-spatial regulations of the chromatin-associated factors are crucial for their collective functions in shaping the epigenome. These natural principles are, however, often dysregulated in human diseases such as congenital developmental syndromes and a variety types of cancer.
The lab probes these questions by integrating comprehensive research tools in chromatin biochemistry, reconstituted systems, deep-sequencing, molecular and cell biology, and cancer biology. The current focuses in lab include the following directions: 1) functional regulation of chromatin modifying enzymes by novel protein-RNA and protein-protein interactions; 2) how disruption of balancing between heterochromatin and euchromatin contributes to early oncogenesis in pediatric brain cancers; and 3) non-histone targets of histone-modifying enzymes.